Hello everyone! I do believe Fall has arrived! The trees are losing their leaves, the chrysanthemums are blooming and the bread machine is back on the counter!
And to kick off this wonderfully cool weather, last night we had Beef & Barley stew and home made whole wheat bread!! Yup, the ice cream maker has been put away and the bread machine brought out. That is my way of saying, Fall is here and it's time for comforting warm foods for cold nights!
The beef & barley stew was just one of those made up things. You just sort of take stock of what you have and then chop, slice and use up. You really can't go wrong when you just wing it for stews and soups. And the thing I really like about making soups and stews is that you can let it simmer for hours and hours and it only makes it better at the end of the day!
But the best thing about Fall is the bread! I ADORE fresh baked bread! Straight out of the oven, sliced, buttered and oh my goodness! The bread crust is crunchy/chewy and the center of the bread is warm and buttery and slides down your throat! Oh my! Just thinking about it makes me want to go and cut another slice off and toast it and add a dab of jam on it!
Anyhowwwww. I have an old Sunbeam, 2lb. Expressbake bread machine. My honey got it for me way back in 1996 or maybe 97'. I didn't use it much back then. I wasn't a real big fan of bread machine bread. I didn't care for the way it looked when you took it out of the machine. And the texture always seemed to be off. But then I discovered the dough setting. That setting has totally changed my life! I now use that setting exclusively. Although I do have a Kitchen Aide mixer, I don't use it for making pizza crusts or bread doughs any longer. The bread machine kneads the bread and takes care of the first rise process with no hassles. And then I take out the dough and shape it and let it rise again and then bake it off. And it comes out perfect EVERY TIME!
Yesterday I made a whole wheat bread using a recipe that I had never tried before. I got it out of my "Bread Machine how to prepare and bake the perfect loaf" by Jennie Shapter, that Baby Girl gave me years ago! I followed the recipe, Light Whole-Wheat Bread, and then set it on the dough setting. When it was done, I took it out, shaped it and set it in the bread pan and let it raise again. Then I baked it at 400 degrees for 35 minutes.
For those of you who would like to make this bread here is the recipe. I'm not sure how you would go about adjusting it, if at all, for those who will not be using a bread machine. But if you are interested in making this bread here is the recipe.
Light Whole-Wheat Bread
1 3/4 cups water
3 cups whole-wheat bread flour
1 1/3 cups white bread flour
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. butter
1 1/2 tsp. rapid-rise active dry yeast
1 Pour the water into the bread machine pan. If the instructions for your bread machine specify that the yeast is to be placed in the pan first, rexerse the order in which you add the liquid and dry ingredients to the pan.
2 Sprinkle each type of flour over in turn, ensuring that the water is covered. Add the sal, sugar and butter in separate corners of the bread pan. Make a shallow indentation in the center of the flour and add the yeast.
3 Set the bread machine to the basic/normal setting, medium crust. Press Start.
*Set the machine to dough setting at this point if you'd like to shape your own bread.*
At the end of the dough cycle. Turn out the dough and shape as you like it. Then set it aside in a warm place until dough doubles in size. At which time you may then place your bread in a pre-heated oven set at 400 degrees and bake for 30-35 minutes or until done.
For those of you who have a bread machine, do you use your bread machines for the whole bread or just the dough setting?
Hope everyone is planning on a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by! ;-)